3PLs warned over contract liability

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A recent change to TUPE regulations, means that 3PLs taking on new contracts, may find that the previous contractor’s workforce has been transferred to them, leaving them responsible for redundancy payments and potentially liable for unfair dismissal claims.

Speaking at the UKWA’s annual conference, Simon Edwards, a senior partner in the legal firm Aaron and Partners, outlined the issue. He said that for the unwary, these liabilities could appear out of the blue, as the rules apply whether or not the company intends to take on the previous contractor’s staff.

He said that any 3PL that wins a contract to provide warehousing services, faces inheriting staff that may be based far away. If these people choose not want to move nearer to their new employer’s facility, they will have to be made redundant.

Roger Williams, director general of UKWA, said: “We are advising our members to gather as much information as possible about how the contract they are tendering for has been previously carried out and how the current contractor organises his resources.”

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